Novak Djokovic made easy work of Next-Genner Denis Shapovalov in the final of the Paris Masters 1000 on Sunday evening to move to within one title at the ATP’s most prestigious tournaments after the Grand Slams.

With the win at Bercy, Djokovic now has 34 Masters titles, compared to Rafael Nadal’s 35. Roger Federer has 28.

Djokovic raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening set before the 20-year-old Shapovalov found his feet. But the Serb had no difficulty in closing out the set at 6-3.

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Shapovalov had to fend off a break point in the first game of the second set and held his serve till three-all. Djokovic broke for the lead and held serve to be one game away the win. Shapovalov held to stay in the match, but Djokovic easily served out the second set at 6-4 for a record-extending fifth title at the Paris Masters.

The meeting was the fourth between the two – all of them coming this year. Shapovalov took a set off Djokovic in the round of 32 at the Australian Open before being handed a bagel in the fourth set. Djokovic then won easily at the same stage of the Rome and Shanghai Masters tournaments.

Nonetheless, Shapovalov has broken through the ceiling that has seen him struggle to raise his game after breaking into the top 50 in the world at age 17 and the top 30 last year. He won his maiden ATP singles title at the Stockholm Open in October, and this week saw him reach his first Masters 1000 final at age 20. He'll climb to a career-best 15th in the world in the new rankings on Monday.

No. 1 ranking at stake

Even with the win at Bercy, Djokovic will drop to world No. 2 behind Nadal when the world rankings are updated on Monday. The Serb had 1,600 points to defend from his runner-up finishes at the 2018 Paris Masters and ATP Tour Finals, tournaments that the Spaniard did not play and hence had to no points to defend at.

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Nadal leads the rankings by 640 points going into the year-ender, which begins on November 10. A maximum of 1,500 points are available at the tournament — 200 each for wins in the three round-robin matches, 400 for a semifinal win and 500 for winning the title. But Nadal's appearance is in doubt after he withdrew from his Paris Masters semifinal against Shapovalov with an abdominal injury.

Djokovic is looking to emulate Pete Sampras by grabbing the year-end No. 1 ranking for a sixth time. He is currently tied in second place with Federer and Jimmy Connors. If Nadal takes the top spot, it’ll be his fifth time.


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